I remember following instructions driving in the
countryside of Massachusetts and later in Ontario
trying to find a nudist club.
„Third side road, 22nd yellow mailbox, large triang–
le,“ or similar words. It was like finding a drug dealer.
Near Denver the directions were vague in the extre–
me so my tired wife and I gave up and drove into the
city and stayed in a hotel.
What a nice change to move to Europe and see giant
signs on the highway: „FKK Camping, 10km.“ It‘s no
harder than finding a McDonald‘s. Countries outs–
ide German-speaking areas, like Hungary, also use
„FKK“ because folks know what it means.
What an amazing change to time and place. On the
internet I learned that near Vienna, part of the Da–
nube lsland had an area designated „FKK“ for nude
swimming. The Donau Island is a manmade island
13 miles long, 70-200 yards wide, created by dum–
ping the sludge from dredging the Danube between
1972 and 1988. There are no cars, but it is used for
cycling, rollerblading swimming and canoeing. There
are a few bars and restaurants and (hard to believe) a
swimming pool. It gets about three million visitors a
year and has one of Europe‘s largest music festivals.
I had a visitor from home in Canada and we travelled
by subway to the island and trudged endlessly in
summer heat looking for the nude area. We finally
gave up and just plunged in between the bushes on
the riverbank. Nobody complained.
Years later, an American woman living in Vienna told
me that I should have gone south instead of north
when I‘d visited the island earlier. She and I cycled
from Praterstern Park on to a bridge for pedestrians
and bikes and down a spiral ramp on to the island
and pedalled south to the big FKK sign.
Another time I tried to walk that distance because I
was in Vienna without my bike, but it seemed so far
that I gave up and again just jumped in.
Again, nobody complained. The amazing news is
that across the river channel, on what you might call
the mainland, there is a bus (92B) that takes you to
five different stops along the huge FKK area. Every
one of them connects to the nude part of the Danu–
be. There are a number of parking lots right off the
highway, just a few yards from the nude area. Most
have a restaurant or snack bar. At one of them you
do not need to dress at all to get served. No coded
directions, no mysterious mailboxes. Nudism is so
popular that the area filled with naked people has
expanded westward, so in practice it is double the
size demarcated by signs, and in reality it‘s almost
three miles long on both sides of the channel or six
There are interesting differences between the two
sides. Where access is easy, everyone has a camp
bed for sunning often with an extra shade above the
sunbather‘s head so one‘s eyes do not get flied.
The crowd is older and less fit (car dependent).
On the Danube Island side, there is almost no garden
furniture, people come by bike or walk (a long way).
They are less obese. The area is also not 100% nude
but a mix of clothed and unclothed, including a gay
men section (unmarked, but clear enough).
My conclusion is this feels like a victory.
This is what the world will be like when we have
„won“ acceptance for nude living as gay rights are
winning acceptance now. You do not have to pass a
background check You do not have to demonstrate
that the person you are with is your legal spouse.
There are no fences. At smaller nudist clubs the
fences are necessary to keep out trespassers and ga–
wkers, which gives me the feeling that I am in a zoo
or a minimum-security prison.
This feels like punishment for having bizarre ideas
that are „shocking“ to so many respectable people.
There are no security guards and no posted rules. It
is the dream of anarchists that people use common
sense and regulate themselves.
This is a taste
of the world
as it could be.